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The dipeptide DL-methionyl-DL-Methionine (Met-Met) has extremely low water solubility and better absorption than other methionine sources (such as DL-methionine and L-methionine) available in the market. Therefore, six diets (D1, D2, D3, D4, D5 and D6) containing 0 %, 0.07%, 0.15%, 0.21%, 0.28% and 0.38% Met-Met were formulated to investigate the effects of Met-Met on Oreochromis niloticus. The results indicated that percent weight gain and specific growth rate of fish fed with D2 and D3 diets were higher than those fed with D1, D4-D6 diets. The levels of total essential amino acid in whole body of fish fed with D3 and D4 diets were significantly higher than those fed the D1 diet. Superoxide dismutase activity and malondialdehyde content were no significant difference in fed the diet with or without Met-Met supplementation. Majority of reads derived from the fish intestines belonged to members of Fusobacteria, followed by Bacteroidetes, Proteobacteria. Diversity of intestinal microbiota and total antioxidant capacity in fish fed with D3 diet was significantly higher than that of other groups. Since due to the growth results the authors conclude the optimal proportion of Met was 0.61%, and the addition of Met-Met was 0.15% in O. niloticus.
We aimed to investigate the association between plasma retinol and incident cancer among Chinese hypertensive adults. We conducted a nested case–control study, including 231 patients with incident cancer and 231 matched controls during a median 4·5-year follow-up of the China Stroke Primary Prevention Trial. There was a significant, inverse association between retinol levels and digestive system cancer (per 10 μg/dl increases: OR 0·79; 95 % CI 0·69, 0·91). When compared with participants in the first quartile of retinol (< 52·3 μg/dl), a significantly lower cancer risk was found in participants in quartile 2–4 ( ≥ 52·3 μg/dl: OR 0·31; 95 % CI 0·13, 0·71). However, there was a U-shaped association between retinol levels and non-digestive system cancers where the risk of cancers decreased (although not significantly) with each increment of plasma retinol (per 10 μg/dl increases: OR 0·89; 95 % CI 0·60, 1·31) in participants with retinol < 68·2 μg/dl, and then increased significantly with retinol (per 10 μg/dl increase: OR 1·65; 95 % CI 1·12, 2·44) in participants with retinol ≥ 68·2 μg/dl. In conclusion, there was a significant inverse dose–response association between plasma retinol and the risk of digestive system cancers. However, a U-shaped association was observed between plasma retinol and the risk of non-digestive cancers (with a turning point approximately 68·2 μg/dl).
The continental shelf strata provide information regarding sea-level fluctuation and climate changes in the Quaternary period. A 5831.47-km-long high-resolution seismic profile and borehole core (YS01) were acquired to reconstruct the evolutionary history of the strata in South Yellow Sea (SYS) during the late Pleistocene. The strata recorded three transgression events (HI, HII, and HIII) and three stages of paleochannel development (LI, LII, and LIII). Based on the distribution, thickness, and volume of the strata formed in the three transgressions, we concluded that the scale of the three transgressions during the late Pleistocene was HIII, HI, and HII, in descending order. In addition, our data show that the Yellow River extended to the Yellow Sea Trough during the last glacial maximum. The influence of the tectonic framework on sedimentation in the SYS was completely concealed by sea-level changes and sediment supply in the late Pleistocene (~Marine Isotope Stage 5). Since then, the accommodation space, a crucial prerequisite for sedimentation, has been controlled solely by sea-level changes in the SYS. Furthermore, two “source to sink” models of the neritic shelf in the marine and terrestrial environments were established, including high sea-level and shelf-exposure models.
Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have consistently revealed that a variant of microRNA 137 (MIR137) shows a quite significant association with schizophrenia. Identifying the network of genes regulated by MIR137 could provide insights into the biological processes underlying schizophrenia. In addition, DLPFC functional connectivity, a robust correlate of MIR137, may provide plausible endophenotypes. However, the regulatory role of the MIR137 gene network in the disrupted functional connectivity remains unclear. Here, we tested the effects of the MIR137 regulated genes on the risk for schizophrenia and DLPFC functional connectivity.
To evaluate the additive effects of the MIR137 regulated genes (N = 1274), we calculated a MIR137 polygenic risk score (PRS) for schizophrenia and tested its association with the risk for schizophrenia in the genomic data of a Han Chinese population that included schizophrenia patients (N = 589) and normal controls (N = 575). We then investigated the association between MIR137 PRS and DLPFC functional connectivity in two independent young healthy cohorts (N = 356 and N = 314).
We found that the MIR137 PRS successfully captured the differences in genetic structure between the patients and controls, but the single gene MIR137 did not. We then consistently found that a higher MIR137 PRS was correlated with lower functional connectivities between the DLPFC and both the superior parietal cortex and the inferior temporal cortex in two independent cohorts.
The findings suggested that these two functional connectivities of the DLPFC could be important endophenotypes linking the MIR137-regulated genetic structure to schizophrenia.
Schizophrenia is a complex mental disorder with high heritability and polygenic inheritance. Multimodal neuroimaging studies have also indicated that abnormalities of brain structure and function are a plausible neurobiological characterisation of schizophrenia. However, the polygenic effects of schizophrenia on these imaging endophenotypes have not yet been fully elucidated.
To investigate the effects of polygenic risk for schizophrenia on the brain grey matter volume and functional connectivity, which are disrupted in schizophrenia.
Genomic and neuroimaging data from a large sample of Han Chinese patients with schizophrenia (N = 509) and healthy controls (N = 502) were included in this study. We examined grey matter volume and functional connectivity via structural and functional magnetic resonance imaging, respectively. Using the data from a recent meta-analysis of a genome-wide association study that comprised a large number of Chinese people, we calculated a polygenic risk score (PGRS) for each participant.
The imaging genetic analysis revealed that the individual PGRS showed a significantly negative correlation with the hippocampal grey matter volume and hippocampus–medial prefrontal cortex functional connectivity, both of which were lower in the people with schizophrenia than in the controls. We also found that the observed neuroimaging measures showed weak but similar changes in unaffected first-degree relatives of patients with schizophrenia.
These findings suggested that genetically influenced brain grey matter volume and functional connectivity may provide important clues for understanding the pathological mechanisms of schizophrenia and for the early diagnosis of schizophrenia.
Compared with commercial polyolefin membranes, polyacrylonitrile (PAN) membrane prepared by electrostatic spinning has higher porosity, electrolyte uptake, thermal stability, and lithium-ion conductivity, etc. However, poor mechanical performance has largely limited the application of electrospun PAN separators. In this study, PAN/polyimide (PI) composite membrane is prepared by electrostatic spinning to improve the mechanical and electrochemical performances. Scanning electron microscopy, thermal analysis method, and electrochemical methods were used for evaluation of the electrospun composite membrane. The results show that the composite membrane possesses good thermal stability and exhibits better mechanical performance than pristine PAN membrane (increasing by 1.1 times in tension strength). The addition of PI can increase porosity and fluid absorption rate obviously. In addition, the composite membrane has high ionic conductivity (18.77 × 10−4 S/cm), wide electrochemical window (about 4.0 V), and excellent cycling performance. It can retain a discharge specific capacity of 153 mA h/g even after 50 cycles at 0.5 C. The electrospun PAN/PI membrane may be a promising candidate for lithium-ion battery separators.
Very few recent studies are available that compare caregiver burden, sleep quality, and stress in caregivers of different types of dementia. We aimed to investigate caregiver burden, sleep quality, and stress in caregivers of patients with frontotemporal lobar degeneration and dementia with Lewy bodies, as compared with caregivers of patients with Alzheimer's disease.
This study was carried out from March 2011 to January 2014. In total, 492 dyads of patient and caregiver (frontotemporal lobar degeneration, n = 131; dementia with Lewy bodies, n = 36; Alzheimer's disease, n = 325) participated in this study. We compared patients with respect to the Neuropsychiatric Inventory and caregivers with respect to the Zarit Caregiver Burden Interview, Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index, Patient Health Questionnaire-9, and Generalized Anxiety Disorder scale.
Frontotemporal lobar degeneration and dementia with Lewy bodies patients presented significantly more neuropsychiatric symptoms compared to Alzheimer's disease patients. Caregivers of frontotemporal lobar degeneration and dementia with Lewy bodies patients experienced significantly more burden compared to Alzheimer's disease caregivers. Furthermore, among caregivers of both frontotemporal lobar degeneration and dementia with Lewy bodies patients burden was predicted by the neuropsychiatric symptoms, PHQ-9 scores, and GAD-7 scores.
The frequency and severity of behavioral disturbances in patient and caregiver stress accounted for the increased caregiver burden, which suggests that frontotemporal lobar degeneration and dementia with Lewy bodies caregivers should receive more support than is currently available.
The present research focuses on glacier changes in the southeast of the Qinghai–Xizang (Tibetan) Plateau, where most of the temperate glaciers in China are located. Our results show that the 102 measured glaciers in the region have all retreated between 1915 and 1980, with total area and volume decreases of 47.9 km2 and 6.95 km3, respectively. The extrapolated mass loss of all glaciers in the Gangrigabu mountains amounted to 27 km3, 9.8% of the ice mass in 1915. Between 1980 and 2001, glaciers in the region have also experienced a general retreat; however, up to 40% of the glaciers were advancing. Our analysis demonstrates that precipitation in the studied area has increased substantially since the mid-1980s. This precipitation increase is likely to bring about a positive mass balance for glaciers in the region, so that the retreat of retreating glaciers might slow down or even turn into advance. Considering the sensitivity of the temperate glaciers in the region and the uncertainty in climate projections, more attention must be paid to glacier changes in the southeast Tibetan Plateau region.
Glaciers in the Muztag Ata and Konggur mountains of the eastern Pamir plateau, northwestern China, have been monitored by applying aerial photo stereo models (1962/66) and Landsat TM (1990) and ETM+ (1999) images, all of which have been compared in order to detect areal and frontal changes through the past four decades. The mean frontal retreat of glaciers in the Muztag Ata and Konggur mountains increased from 6.0 ma−1 between 1962/66 and 1990 to 11.2ma−1 between 1990 and 1999, with an overall glacier length reduction of 9.9% for the whole study period. The glacier area has decreased by 7.9%, mainly due to changes observed in the most recent period (1990–99), when the annual area loss almost tripled to 1.01 km2 a−1. Based on meteorological data from Taxkogan station since 1957, we conclude that climate change, particularly the rise in summer temperature after 1994, is the main forcing factor in glacier shrinkage.
Recent studies have indicated that widespread wastage of glaciers in western China has occurred since the late 1970s. By using digitized glacier outlines derived from the 1970 inventory and Landsat satellite data from 1990/91 to 2001, we obtained area changes of about 278 glaciers with a total area of 2711.57 km2 in the heavily glaciated west Kunlun Shan (WKS) in the northern Tibetan Plateau (TP). Results indicate that the prevailing characteristic of glacier variation is ice wastage, and glacier area decreased by 10 km2 (0.4% of the total 1970 area) between 1970 and 2001. Both the south and north slopes of the WKS presented shrinkage during 1970–2001, but whereas on the north slope a slight enlargement of ice extent during 1970–90 was followed by a reduction of 0.2% during 1990–2001, on the south slope the glacier area decreased by 1.2% during 1970–91, with a small increment of 0.6% during 1991–2001. Comparisons with other glaciated mountainous regions in western China show that glaciers in the research area have experienced less retreat. Based on records from the Guliya ice core, we believe that an increase in air temperature was the main forcing factor for glacier shrinkage during 1970–2001.
The Tarim river basin, a river system formed by the convergence of nine tributaries, is the most heavily glacierized watershed in arid northwest China. In the basin, there are 11 665 glaciers with a total area of 19 878 km2 and a volume of 2313 km3. Glaciers in the basin play a significant role in the water resource system. It is estimated that they provide about 133 x 108 m3 of meltwater annually, contributing 39% of the total river runoff. Under the influence of global warming, northwest China has experienced a generally warmer and drier climate since the mid-19th century. However, a so-called ‘warm and wet transition’ has occurred since the late 1980s, evidenced by an increase in both precipitation and stream discharge in the Xinjiang Autonomous Region and neighboring regions. This paper describes how glaciers in the Tarim river basin have responded to such warming and increased precipitation, and the impact of these glacier changes. We analyzed the variations of more than 3000 glaciers since the 1960s using topographical maps, high-resolution satellite images and aerial photographs of the river basin. Our results indicate that glaciers in the basin have been mostly in retreat in the past 40 years, and ice wastage has significantly influenced water resources in the Tarim river basin. Estimation by a degree-day meltwater model shows the positive anomaly in stream runoff of the Tailan river can be partly attributed to the increase in glacier runoff (amounting to one-third of the stream discharge), and a rough estimation using observed average ablation on the termini of 15 glaciers in China verifies that the mass loss calculated by a glacier area-volume relation is reasonable.
The prevalence of CHD has been well described worldwide except in Tibet. This study aimed to illustrate the prevalence and composition of CHD in Tibetan children according to altitude.
Methods and results
In the first part, we prospectively recruited 7088 unselected Tibetan children (4–17 years) from south-west Tibet. The total prevalence of CHD increased from 4.6/1000 below 4200 m to 13.4/1000 above 4700 m, with a female-to-male ratio of 1.3:3.1. The total prevalence and female prevalence of patent ductus arteriosus increased more than 10-fold. Females living above 4700 m had exceptionally high prevalence of patent ductus arteriosus (14.9/1000). The prevalence of atrial septal defect was comparable among different altitudes (3.3–3.8/1000). The prevalence of ventricular septal defect was 1.3/1000 below 4700 m, and no cases were found above this altitude. In the second part, we retrospectively reviewed the clinical data of 383 CHD children in Tibet and 73 children at lower altitudes. The percentage of isolated ventricular septal defect decreased from 54.8 to 3.1%, and the percentage of isolated patent ductus arteriosus increased from 8.2 to 68.4% with elevation. Children living below 4200 m (10.4–13.7%) had a larger proportion of complex CHD than those above this altitude (2.0–3.1%). Of the 20 Tibetan children with complex CHD, 14 (70.0%) lived below 4200 m.
A wide variation in CHD prevalence and composition existed in Tibetan children among different altitudes.
The temporal dynamics of ciliate community structure in a southern Chinese shrimp aquaculture facility were investigated during the period June–September 2012. A total of 53 species belonging to 37 genera and 17 orders were recorded based on analyses of eight samples. Ciliate abundance peaked between 16 August and 14 September 2012, while the maximum number of species occurred on 26 June 2012. Clear temporal patterns were observed in the ciliate community structure. The patterns of succession of the 10 most abundant species were consistent with the results of a Canonical Analysis of Principal coordinates (CAP) analysis. Correlation analyses showed that these patterns of succession were related to temporal changes in environmental variables. In summary, the results demonstrate that the ciliate community responds predictably to environmental variations and recovers from shrimp cultivation.
The present study investigated the effects of dietary vitamin A on immune function in the proximal intestine (PI), mid intestine (MI) and distal intestine (DI) of young grass carp (Ctenopharyngodon idella). Fish were fed graded levels of dietary vitamin A for 10 weeks, and then a challenge test using an injection of Aeromonas hydrophila was conducted for 14 d. The results showed that, compared with the optimum vitamin A level, vitamin A deficiency significantly decreased fish growth performance, increased enteritis morbidity, decreased intestinal innate humoral immune response and aggravated intestinal inflammation. However, liver-expressed antimicrobial peptide 2A/B mRNA in the DI and IL-6, IL-17D, IL-10, transforming growth factor (TGF)-β1 and TGF-β2 mRNA in the PI were not affected by vitamin A levels. Meanwhile, vitamin A deficiency disturbed inflammatory cytokines in the PI, MI and DI, which might be partly linked to p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (p38MAPK) signalling and NF-κB canonical signalling pathway (IκB kinase β (IKKβ), IKKγ, inhibitor of κBα, NF-κB p65 and c-Rel) rather than NF-κB non-canonical signalling pathway (NF-κB p52 and IKKα). However, the signalling molecules NF-κB p65 and p38MAPK did not participate in regulating cytokines in the PI. These results suggested that vitamin A deficiency decreased fish growth and impaired intestinal immune function, and that different immune responses in the PI, MI and DI were mediated partly by NF-κB canonical signalling and p38MAPK signalling pathways. On the basis of percentage of weight gain, to protect fish against enteritis morbidity and acid phosphatase activity, the optimum dietary vitamin A levels were estimated to be 0·664, 0·707 and 0·722 mg /kg, respectively.
To investigate the effect of Mn on antioxidant status and on the expressions of heat shock proteins/factors in tissues of laying broiler breeders subjected to heat challenge, we used a completely randomised design (n 6) with a factorial arrangement of 2 environmental temperatures (normal, 21±1°C, and high, 32±1°C)×3 dietary Mn treatments (a Mn-unsupplemented basal diet (CON), or a basal diet supplemented with 120 mg Mn/kg diet, either as inorganic Mn sulphate (iMn) or as organic Mn proteinate (oMn)). There were no interactions (P>0·10) between environmental temperature and dietary Mn in any of the measured indices. High temperature decreased (P<0·003) Mn content, and also tended (P=0·07) to decrease Cu Zn superoxide dismutase (CuZnSOD) activity in the liver and heart. However, an increased Mn superoxide dismutase (MnSOD) activity (P<0·05) and a slight increase in malondialdehyde level (P=0·06) were detected in breast muscle. Up-regulated (P<0·05) expressions of heat shock factor 1 (HSF1) and HSF3 mRNA and heat shock protein 70 (HSP70) mRNA and protein were found in all three tissues. Broiler breeders fed either iMn or oMn had higher tissue Mn content (P<0·0001), heart MnSOD and CuZnSOD activities (P<0·01) and breast muscle MnSOD protein levels (P<0·05), and lower (P<0·05) breast muscle HSP70 mRNA and protein levels compared with those fed CON. Broiler breeders fed oMn had higher (P<0·03) bone Mn content than those fed iMn. These results indicate that high temperature decreases Mn retention and increases HSP70, HSF1 and HSF3 expressions in the tissues of laying broiler breeders. Furthermore, dietary supplementation with Mn in either source may enhance the heart’s antioxidant ability and inhibit the expression of HSP70 in breast muscle. Finally, the organic Mn appears to be more available than inorganic Mn for bone in laying broiler breeders regardless of environmental temperatures.
The effects of carbon equivalent on thermal and mechanical properties of compacted graphite cast irons were investigated at ambient temperature, 300 and 500 °C, respectively. The group implied the change of carbon content to control the carbon equivalent. The results indicated that with the increasing carbon equivalent from 4.43 to 4.74, the graphite count increase. The thermal conductivity was 48.64, 44.55, 49.04, and 50.36 W/mK for carbon equivalent about 4.43–4.74 of compacted graphite cast irons at ambient temperature, respectively. With an increase in temperature, the thermal conductivity decrease. Moreover, with the increasing carbon equivalent, the tensile strength and yield strength increase initially, and then decrease at ambient temperature, 300 and 500 °C, respectively. With an increase in temperature, the tensile strength and yield strength decrease. Characterization of fracture surface indicated that the mixed ductile-brittle fracture mode prevailed in the compacted graphite cast irons with different carbon equivalents.
The paleoclimate application of speleothem δ13C is influenced by site-specific processes. Here we present four stalagmite δ13C records from two caves in southern China, covering early and late Marine Isotope Stage (MIS) 3 and the Holocene, to investigate the spatio-temporal pattern of calcite δ13C changes and the relationship with Asian monsoon (AM) variability. In each growth period, precessional- to millennial-scale changes are clear in the δ18O record. In contrast, millennial variability is absent in the δ13C record, which characterizes persistent centennial oscillations. However, centennial-scale δ18O variations agree well with those of δ13C, with a larger amplitude in δ13C changes (about twice that of δ18O). This suggests that soil humidity balance associated with regional hydrological circulations is important for these centennial δ13C changes, although evaporation-related kinetic fractionation can induce concurrent enrichments in δ18O and δ13C. In frequency, the detrended δ18O and δ13C records are coupled at a periodicity of about 300 yr during the last glacial period and 150 yr during the Holocene. Those centennial-scale δ13C variations are generally consistent with Greenland temperature variability, indicating a climate response over broad regions. Thus, strong co-variation of δ18O and δ13C records should have a climatic origin, even if it is amplified by kinetic effects.
Picoeukaryotes (<2–3 μm) perform key roles for the functioning of marine ecosystems, but little is known regarding the composition and diversity of picoeukaryotes in aquaculture areas. In this study, the Illumina MiSeq platform was used for sequencing the V4 variable region within the 18S rDNA gene to analyse genetic diversity and relative abundance of picoeukaryotic communities in the Qinhuangdao scallop cultivation area of the Bohai Sea. The community was dominated by three super groups, the alveolates (54%), stramenopiles (41%) and chlorophytes (3%), and three groups, dinoflagellates (54%), pelagomonadales (40%) and prasinophytes (3%). Furthermore, a contrasting station with open water away from the eutrophic aquaculture area was chosen. The communities collected from the two stations exhibited significant differences, with higher diversity in the aquaculture area. These results provide the first snapshot of the picoeukaryotic diversity in surface waters of the Qinhuangdao scallop cultivation area, and basic data for future studies on picoeukaryote community in an aquaculture region.
Bipolar disorder is a highly heritable polygenic disorder. Recent
enrichment analyses suggest that there may be true risk variants for
bipolar disorder in the expression quantitative trait loci (eQTL) in the
We sought to assess the impact of eQTL variants on bipolar disorder risk
by combining data from both bipolar disorder genome-wide association
studies (GWAS) and brain eQTL.
To detect single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) that influence
expression levels of genes associated with bipolar disorder, we jointly
analysed data from a bipolar disorder GWAS (7481 cases and 9250 controls)
and a genome-wide brain (cortical) eQTL (193 healthy controls) using a
Bayesian statistical method, with independent follow-up replications. The
identified risk SNP was then further tested for association with
hippocampal volume (n = 5775) and cognitive performance
(n = 342) among healthy individuals.
Integrative analysis revealed a significant association between a brain
eQTL rs6088662 on chromosome 20q11.22 and bipolar disorder (log Bayes
factor = 5.48; bipolar disorder P =
5.85×10–5). Follow-up studies across multiple independent
samples confirmed the association of the risk SNP (rs6088662) with gene
expression and bipolar disorder susceptibility (P =
3.54×10–8). Further exploratory analysis revealed that
rs6088662 is also associated with hippocampal volume and cognitive
performance in healthy individuals.
Our findings suggest that 20q11.22 is likely a risk region for bipolar
disorder; they also highlight the informative value of integrating
functional annotation of genetic variants for gene expression in
advancing our understanding of the biological basis underlying complex
disorders, such as bipolar disorder.